Summary: When Harry broke into Dolores Umbridge's office to demand answers from Sirius and Remus, he little knew this would be the last proper conversation he would have with his godfather.
But what of the two that were left staring into the fire?
For Moony and Padfoot, it is a chance to re-live old times -- a chance to answer those questions long put aside.
This is Equinox Chick of Hufflepuff and this is my entry for the Bookbasilisk Summer Challenge - Gift of the Gab.
Many thanks to Afifa and MorganRay for beta'ing this story. I would also like to thank Miss K for some constructive comments she made about an earlier draft.
Disclaimer You know the drill. I am not JK Rowling. I doubt that's come as a huge surprise, but I thought I should let you know.
I'm going to leave you a nice review, because you are an awesome author! I really liked this fic, the whole reminiscing thing was really sweet! There was a little bit that I didn't understand I think he was more upset about Lily shouting. Can’t be nice seeing your parents argue before they’re even married. He’ll probably ask us if she was drugged with a love potion or something. I assume you are talking about Harry? It wasn't very clear... That's all I could find. I enjoyed this fic, it was really sweet and an interesting concept. Them talking asbout Peter at first sounded strange, but really it all fitted really well, and how they were so honest with each other about the trust, it was really good. *hugs* Russia xxxxx
Author's Response: Oh, yes, I was talking about Harry - sorry. He thinks about Love potions in OOTp and it was a nod to that really. I'm glad ytou enjoyed it, and do appreciate your review. Thank you muchly ~Carole~
Summary: Everyone knows Oliver Wood. He's the seventh year Gryffindor obsessed with Quidditch. But why is he so focused? What drives him on? And how will he cope when the Dementors get too close to his Seeker, and Diggory catches the Snitch?
Shutting himself in the changing room showers, Oliver cannot bring himself to visit Harry in the hospital wing, for the Dementors have released long repressed horrors in his own life. Will he finally face the reality of his life and obsession?
This is Equinox Chick submitting her final for the Characterisation class on the MNFF beta boards.
I would like to thank Emma (Amortentia X) for her invaluable help in beta'ing this tale. She not only corrected my horrible punctuation but helped a great deal with characterisation. I would also like to thank fgweasley, inspirations, eternalangel, Electronic Quillster and luinrina for their suggestions in class. Last but most definitely not least - thank you, Prof Haylee for allocating me Oliver Wood!
Disclaimer: I am not JK Rowling, but I doubt you're surprised by that.
** indicates a line taken from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The opening lines are taken from a Stevie Smith poem called 'Not Waving, but Drowning.'
Nominated for a 2009 QSQ award in the Best Same Sex Pairing category. Thank you.
Also nominated for a 2010 QSQ award in the Best same Sex Pairing category. Thank you!
Oh my godric! Well what can I say? I LOVED it! If it was written by anyone else, i wouldn’t have read it (You know what with it having my gay!husband in it) But you pulled it off beautifully!
I have never seen either of these characters as gay, (obviously) but you wrote it so convincingly! (Darn you! Lol) Right Oliver. His characterisation was superb (I take it that was what you were aiming for? >..< I shall have to start reverting to my foreign languages soon!
I cannot finish this review (Which has taken me a good 4/5 hours... I get so easily distracted!) without mentioning this line:
His last coherent thought, before he surrendered to bliss, was the feeling that now he could truly fly.
This has got to be one of the most inspired lines I have ever read. I am officially in love with this line. I know I have already told you this lol but I truly love that line. I am just going to sit here and read it over and over again...
I think I should maybe end this review now? Sorry it has taken me this long to post! But I really do love this story! *adds to favourites*
Keep up the formidable writing! (see? French :p) lol Congrats on the story, it was brilliant!
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the review, Russia. You know something, I struggled with that line because in the earlier versions it either sounded too flippant or too smutty - so thank you for liking it! Tarnation! I want to use it about someone else now - LOL.
Thanks again and I'm glad you enjoyed the story despite Cedric not snogging a Gryff girl, and being - well - gay. ~Carole~
Helena Ravenclaw has a secret.
Besides that, her mother does not understand her and she is to be wed to a man she doesn’t like. In a desperate act to get away, Helena flees to Albania with her mother’s most prized possession. We all know the ending, but what about the beginning? Journey through Helena’s last few days with her mother, and her life.
Wow. Sarah that was really good! You really captured Helena's character. You had her almost confident at the beginning, until she remembered that she was being followed and would never be free. She is just awesome once she meets the baron. She tries so hard to be defiant but you can sense the fear in her. It is quite sad really :(
Argh, the death scene. Loved it! It was fantastic!
Her body thrashed and rolled as he continually drew his arm into the air and then let it fall onto her body. Her shrieks were deafening, even when her face was in the ground. He kept the repetition going until he noticed the whimpering stop.
He sat on his knees, staring down at the mutilated body. His chest rose and fell with every quick breath he drew in. He stared at the red knife and then at the girl. His love. His Lady-to-be. He stared at the knife once more and took hold of it with both of hands as tears rolled from his eyes.
Oh Sarah, this is just heartbreaking! I kinda feel sad for the baron too, even thought he is evil for killing poor Helena, but he really did just love her... But yeah, the entirety of this prolouge is awesometastic! I can't wait for the next chapters!
Author's Response: Thanks Russia! First review *squishes* I'm so glad you like it! Thank you for the amazing review, you awesome lion, you!
Summary: Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks both died alone; their friends would never know the story of their last breaths.
Here is, at least, the tale of the death of one of them. Tonks is looking everywhere for her husband, but in the end she will have to face the terrible truth and her own fate...
“Now if it isn’t my itsy niecey looking for her pet wolfey!” Her cackle filled the empty corridor, echoing from the blank stone walls. “Ooh, but you won’t find him here, Dory, you won’t find him!” Bellatrix’ eyes and mouth were round in mock surprise. “You won’t find him here nor anywhere else! You want to know why, little Mudblood-lover, you want to know why?” A wide grin spread over her face again. “Because he’s dead!” Again she burst into laughter.
That paragraph is just PERFECT Bella, it's amazing Kara. I think you already know how much I like this fic, but I thought I'd just remind you :-D
This is such a sad fic :-( But is something that sounds to realistic to me, like it really could have happened that way. I much prefer to think that Tonks was killed by Bella in a one to one rather than just hit my a passing curse of chunk of debris.
Amazing writing Kara, the paragraph about Teddy and Remus and about how she couldn't feel the cruciatus curse only the pain from losing them was SO sad :-(
Lovely fic, Kara *tacklecuddles*
Summary: When a potion goes horribly wrong, Professor Snape is transformed and seemingly trapped in his fifteen-year-old body. Much to his disgust he finds himself enrolled into Harry Potter's fifth year, forced to hide his true identity. Girls, drama and teenage angst do not bode well with Severus. (complete, written before OotP)
What? No! How can that be completed!
That was amazing, honestly it was really well written. I just don’t understand why there is no more! Please tell me you were planning on writing more? I don’t normally go for Snape fics, but the summary of yours made me very curious and it looked very interesting.
Your characterisation of Snape was very impressive. His face, usually bearing an expression of unpleasantness, was even stormier and stung with irritation that evening. I loved that description, and the description of the dungeon at the beginning of the story was also very effective. I also really liked the first line, The air was cold in the Hogwarts dungeon. this is a really good opening line because it draws the reader in and makes them curious about what is going to happen next and why the character is in the dungeon.
Just the whole character that you have created for Snape is so realistic, I desperately want to see you write some more!
From your summary I can see that the plot looks very good, and because of how strong your Snape characterisation is, I would love to see how you work with other characters. As they rest of the story is set in Harry Potter’s year, I was wondering if you might try to write Harry’s characterisation. This is something I have never tried myself because I believe it is so hard to get right. But I would be really interested to see how you tackle other characters. Snape’s interaction with Mrs Norris was also very strong, but I would like to see some human interaction!
I will make you a promise, if you write more chapters for this story I will review every single one and probably end up leaving long waffly praise like I have here =p
A really well written fic, just far too short!
Author's Response: Hey mate, sorry for the late reply. It really is finished but this website won't let me post the chapters (they are a tad too long). you can read the whole thing at a whole bunch of other websites (just google it), or here's a link to one: www.the-potions-masters-nephew.com i hope you enjoy the actual completed version :)
Summary: September had never meant death. September meant hope; it held promise. The promise of a better day come tomorrow, not traded lives and death at sunrise.
Sirius reflects upon the Septembers of past and present.
Sorry I had to delete my first review, it only posted half of it for some reason? /stupid Esme
Ari, there is only one word to describe this fic. Beautiful.
The imagery that your words conjure up is truly amazing, this story has just become one of my favourites ever on MNFF just because of the beautiful description. People tell me I am good at description, but I don’t have a patch on you. I honestly felt as though I was standing right in that forest thinking about all the past Septembers and what September means.
Your characterisation of Sirius is just
Summary: Rita Skeeter is an infamous journalist whose "savage quill has punctured many inflated reputations." But was she always like the annoying pest who Harry knows? What about her story? How did she become the Rita Skeeter we all love to hate?
This is hestiajones of Hufflepuff House writing for the Untold Story Challenge. It won the challenge, and has been nominated recently for a QSQ in Best General category. :D
Thanks to Fresca (Colores) for betaing! You really helped me give the story a coherent whole. And to Carole (Equinox Chick) too, for the “revenge against the ex” tip. :D
DISCLAIMER: All characters and premises belong to J.K.Rowling. However, the Corner brothers, Simon Rosier and the Thorntons are mine. ;)
Hey Natalie! Don’t be alarmed it this review gets cut in half. It happens all the time to me -_-
This was a GREAT fic, Natalie! I didn’t look at the word count at first but I must admit after about 3000 words, I was feeling daunted. I appreciate that it had to be a oneshot to fit in with the challenge rules, but I am often put off by long fics. Luckily for you this was so well written and interesting that I just HAD to keep reading!
Firstly, your characterisations= LOVE. Every character you wrote was so fantastic! Even Dumbledore, who was very brief, was believable and I could easily hear Dumbledore’s voice saying the words in my head (the FIRST and REAL Dumbledore, not Michael Gambon =p) Then of course there are your OCs, their characters were consistent, smooth and believable. Margaret’s manipulative and deceitful character was perfect. Henry’s characterisation, I found particularly interesting. I would really love to read a follow-up fic that follows Henry through his marriage and reasons behind it. His character was so interesting to me, I think, because I couldn’t really work him out. I do believe that he really liked Rita, but then he treated her so badly at times. He was always calling her his “star-reporter” and he invited her to the seventh year party, and yet he didn’t apologise for kissing her in the astronomy tower, and he didn’t tell her about his wedding plans. He seems very confused to me and I think it is amazing how you managed to keep his character so seemingly smooth and together when actually he is all over the place.
Then, of course, we get to Rita’s characterisation. Words can’t really describe. The development of her character in this fic is just so perfect. The girl we first meet is nothing like the Rita we know by the end. There is no part in this fic that I think was too rushed or didn’t make sense. I understand why it had to be so long! =p I also understand why this won first place!
I really loved the plot too. It was one of those complex but not overly complex plots. It had more than one storyline running through it and they were tied really well together. You covered a lot of time in this fic and yet none of it seemed rushed or hurried. You coped with showing a vast amount of time in a small space really well and each time frame flowed smoothly into the next.
Basically, this was a really amazing fic and I don’t have any crit >.>! The only thing I might say is to split it up now that the challenge is over? But to be honest I like it as a oneshot, it just would be very sad if people were put off reading it by the length :/ (also I’m intrigued to know what you cut out!) I won;t ramble on for any longer about how much I loved it =D
Author's Response: Russia, I am sorry for being a complete arse and not replying to this review for eons. >.< I am very happy you like it :D This is one project which nearly sucked the life out of me, so it thrills me to see it being appreciated. I dunno if I'l ever expand it, though...I have a bad habit of abandoning rewriting-plans. Thank you so much for the kick-ass review!
One day Sirius finally has enough of his family and he decides to leave them all behind.
Inspired by the song On My Own from Three Days Grace.
Alysssa! Yellow :-D I really liked this story, it was a good idea for a Sirius one-shot. It was really nice to see Sirius' feelings on the night he ran away. I wonder how long it took him to walk to James's lol. I have some nit-picks, because I am mean and I like nit-picking. :-D
"I’ve got threatened with one every week after that incident." This should be "I've been threatened.
"not that he doesn’t already have the finest already." You need to delete one of the "already"s
"I needed new school robes this year." There is some tense confusion here, it needs to be "I needed new school robes that year" or "I need new school robes this year"
"He doesn’t care about what happens to me. He is a Slytherin through and through." This sentence doesn't fit with everything else you have written about Regulus. hroughout the rest of the story, you have made it sound like Regulus actually wants to go with Sirius. he is really on the good side. You say that they ony pretend to not like each other, this sentence just doesn't fit. If they actually liked each other, surely Regulus would care what happened to Sirius?
"I didn’t give her time to answer it." I don't think you need the "it" here,
Sorry for the nit-picks! I really did like this story, the lyrics were used very well in the story, well done Alyssa!
*hugs* Russia xxxxx
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Russia! Thank you for nit-picking this story. I'm glad that you like where the lyrics were used. Thanks again, Russia!
You are a hero of the War. You fought at the Battle of Hogwarts alongside Harry Potter and Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, but here, tucked away in a corner of India, you are the same as the next person.
What exactly happened?
[one-shot, featuring Parvati Patil and OC's]
This was originally written for the Life Begins at Forty challenge, but didn't fit all the requirements, so it's being posted as a one-shot now.
BB! Carolee stole my place as your first reviewer... *pouts* But I'mma go ahead and review anyway! :-D
I really liked this story, it was so realistic. War can affect people, and you showd the emotion in this story SO convincingly! It was really good.
Any way to make me cry! That ending was SO touching. I swear I was welling up! I loved how you encorporated the language and the translations and having the conductor deaf was such a nice touch.
Before I leave, one tiny Brit Pick: "You had thrown them in the trash Trash is American darling, I think you mean "Bin" or "Rubbish" :-p
And a teensy nit pick: "you had finally found hm" I think you mean "Him" (I told you it was TEENSY :-p)
Other than that I really liked this story! The emotion was spot on, one thing I might say though was as this is HP fanfiction, there wasn't much mention of the wizarding world I appreciate that maybe you were showing that she was trying to leave the wizarding world behind her because of the war, do I have that right? You might want to make that a tad clearer. But, really BB, Well done! For your first Dark/Angst, it was awesome!
First of all, I am SO glad that I finally got around to reading this fic! I have been meaning to read it for such a long time!
I really did like this fic, although at the beginning I thought the second person POV was a little annoying, but it grew on me as the fic progressed, and I think you handled it very well. Your characterisation of Fred, I thought, was quite good. It is always hard t write about a character that has just suffered a close and personal loss, and I think you wrote him very well.
One thing I wasn’t sure on was referring to him as “brother” all the time. I think you were trying to make it a mystery as to exactly who it was that the story was about. It would have worked for another relationship (Ginny and Ron for example) but Fred and George (I’m assuming it was about Fred and George?) I think they would have said “twin” I know this would have given away straight away who the fic was about, but it seems more in character to me.
I really liked the beginning of this fic: ”When you lose someone you love, people start staring at you with pity in their gazes. They start shooting you sympathetic smiles. They all offer you their condolences, but that doesn’t make much difference to you now. Nothing will.”
That is an amazing opening paragraph, it is intriguing and really draws the reader in. But I feel like I have to comment on the ending of the fic as well. You grin sadly at her and take your wand from her hand.
”You wrap your arm around her waist and walk all the way to the Hogwarts castle to celebrate.
And from that day on, you’ll never think of jumping ever again.”
I don’t know about this... something just didn’t click with me and this line. After a very good fic, I just don’t really think that this last line did it justice. The first line is so powerful, I just feel that it needs a powerful last line to balance the fic and bring it to a close.
Now, onto things I loved: THIS paragraph:
“Because it is true!” she says rather loudly. She takes a deep breath and runs her fingers through her hair. “Your brother, he would not have let you die in his place. He gave his life for you; for all of us.. He would want you to live your life to the fullest and be the happiest you can be. Is this the way that you are going to live your life? Is this the way you want to end your life? Committing suicide? Your life is a miracle. Don’t waste it.”
That was a BEAUTIFUL paragraph! It felt so in character, and so true. Fred would have wanted George to be the happiest he could be. ”Your life is a miracle. Don’t waste it.” Mmh, gorgeous line, Ronnie.
I mostly liked the plot of this fic, how George had wandered off and how all the happiness had begun to annoy him. It is a lovely idea for a fic, but I have a suggestion if I may. When I saw the title “Jump” I immediately thought that it would involve jumping off a building. I’m just not sure about George jumping into a lake... he must have known that it wouldn’t *really* kill him. I mean you do mention the Grindylows, which you are right could kill him once he is in the water, but Krum went swimming in the lake, didn’t he? And they didn’t kill him. I would say that they only attacked people once they were swimming in the weeds. Also, I don’t think the Merpeople are really ones for attacking students who fall, climb or swim in the lake. I imagine it is quite hard to drown yourself without something to keep you under the water. I’m not sure that, unless weighted down with metal or such like, the robes would be enough to keep him down. But then again, maybe all of what I just said was unnecessary, maybe George wasn’t supposed to be thinking properly. I suppose once you have lost someone like that, you don’t think about whether or not you would be heavy enough to sink...
One teensy nit-pick before I go, to improve the flow. ”The waters call for you, welcomes you.” It has to be either “The waters call for you, welcome you.” OR “The water calls for you, welcomes you.” You wither need both to be plural or both to be singular.
Overall, a very nice fic, Ronnie. I enjoyed it, even if it was very sad! I like to think that George and the girl (Angelina?) were happy that night and celebrated Fred’s life. =)
The wizarding mothers of England have banded together after the fall of Voldemort to support one another with a common purpose: to mourn the loss of their children in the war. These grieving mothers formed a group, Hospice for the Orphaned Mothers of England (H.O.M.E.), for just that cause.
Molly Weasley stood before the assembly of H.O.M.E. and shared the story of her son, Fred. Join Molly as she imparts her personal loss and heartbreak so that the orphaned mothers know that they are, indeed, not alone.
This is ToBeOrNotToBeAGryffindor of Ravenclaw House, and this is an entry for the Winter Snows 09 H.O.M.E. Challenge.
Hey, Jess =)
Sorry if this gets cut in half; MNFF hates my reviews at the moment.
Firstly, I think you handled the whole concept of this fic really well. Now, I banned myself from even looking at the winter snows prompts so I can’t say for certain how well you handled the prompt, but the whole concept of narration and no description was used very effectively in this piece of writing.
Unfortunately I wasn’t crazy on Molly’s characterisation. I think you totally nailed Fred, he was described really well and some of the snippets you write about him really did make me smile. Just... some of the things that Molly said just didn’t strike me as very Molly.
“She tortured students, including the twins, by forcing them to carve words into their own hands with Dark Magic.” This was my least favourite sentence in the entire story. It seems very... almost slapdash. Just know of thrown aside, “Oh and she tortured them with dark magic” I’m not even sure that ‘Dark Magic’ is a very appropriate way to describe what Umbridge did, not in my mind anyway. I think perhaps going into more detail about exactly what Umbridge did here would be more effective and get rid of the ‘slapdash’ feel to this sentence.
In contrast, “They sold all sorts of items, which I’m sure will all be banned at Hogwarts any day now as well as a line of Defense Against the Dark Arts items designed to protect those who could not yet protect themselves.” I really like this sentence. It just really put into perspective for me exactly what Fred and George were doing. Minus the spelling mistake of ‘Defense’—should be defence-- this was one of my favourite sentences in the whole fic, for me, is captured Fred and George perfectly.
One other part that struck me as odd was this line: “Eventually, I will be able to remember Fred without breaking down like I am doing now, but I promise myself, my family, all of you, and, especially, Fred, that I will never forget.” I just don’t really feel like Molly was breaking down here. I imagine this being spoken quite a few years after Fred’s death and I don’t picture Molly ‘breaking down’ at all. The language you used doesn't at all hint at a break down and the only hesitation that we see is the “V-Voldemort” but I am assuming that this is just a generic fear of the name as opposed to sadness or grief.
Sorry to be so negative! I really did like this fic and I thought the end was so effective, it was a heart warming story and a part of Molly that I do feel that you got spot on, was the pride that she had in her sons.
Well done, Jess!
To be honest, this is probably the worst thing I've ever written by far. The prompt was evil, and I was forced by the mod who both set the challenge and modded the story (Jan) to remove all but the speech. I am not strong on description by speech, as my abilities lie more in the region of narrative description. I had to chop all of that out, and after that, I really hated this piece. I was going to delete it, but I figured that it could just be a reminder about where I've been and where I am now as a writer.
I agree with everything you said, and this story really does suck. I'm just bummed that you chose to give me a SPEW review and it had to be this one. And, as you probably noticed, I didn't start writing in UK English until far after this story, so I spelt 'defense' correctly for my particular neck of the woods.
I just wish that I would have been allowed to fill out Molly's feelings and mannerisms more than I was, because doing so with strictly dialogue is really freaking difficult.
Thanks for the review, sweetie. Perhaps I shall be a ninja and do the same sometime soon. ^.~
Summary: It's been twenty years since Harry left Privet Drive. He's back to deliver the news that Dudley's son is a wizard.
Meet Christopher and Lydia, Dudley's son and wife, and find out how Harry breaks the news to them.
The A/U warning is because some people will think it's A/U, but I happen to think it's the way it would happen.
I really liked the plot of this fic, I’ve always liked to believe that Dudley’s son was a wizard so I was very excited to see what you made of it.
The characterisation in this fic seemed a little odd to me. I think you had petunia’s character down to a tee, but a DIFFERENT Petunia to the one we saw in the final book. I thought the portrayal of her here was very much more like the early books, and although it was a really good early petunia, I would have liked to see a bit more of the type of Petunia that we, or at least I, saw in the seventh book. I thought Harry’s characterisation was good in parts but there were glimpses of things that didn’t strike me as very Harry-like, when he said “ma-am” for example. I loved your character of Dudley though, you really showed his different side, very much the side we saw in book seven, both he and his wife were fantastic and so lovely.
The plot was good and well handled; you fitted a lot into few words. I liked the interaction between Harry and Dudley and the way you showed the changes that had occurred in the twenty years, although I am surprised that Harry and Dudley hadn’t seen each other before now, any particular reasoning behind this?
So, it was a really cute short story, well done =D
Summary: When Molly is asked to speak for H.O.M.E., she chooses to speak about the loss of her son, Fred.
I am ron lover of Gryffindor writing for the H.O.M.E. prompt on the Beta Boards.
I have just reviewed another fic written for this same challenge and it is really interesting to see how the prompt (which I have NO idea what it was) is interpreted differently.
I actually found the stage directions very effective. You handled the concept of dialogue with no description very well, but the stage directions just brought the whole fic into a picture and really pushed the feelings that you conveyed so well in dialogue.
I think you got Molly’s character pretty well actually. “My son, Fred, is – was – always a carefree boy.” I thought the way you used ‘is—was—‘ was really effective. That is what people who had suffered a loss really do, in just these simple words you managed to show so much pain and emotion.
“I wanted to yell at all of them and tell them to go home, but I had no power over them. They were all of age and they could do whatever they wanted to. They chose to fight. When they ran away to their respective places, I was lost inside. My babies were running straight into danger, and there was nothing that I could do. I LOVED this paragraph. I thought it was so heartfelt and just so... Molly.
I know this review is kind of short, but I don’t want to go into everything in too much detail as this is such a short fic anyway. There are some small points to crit, a few Americanisms etc, but honestly Alyssa, I’ll say it again you are improving leaps and bounds in your writing, it just shows that practice makes perfect! Please write some more, you improve with everything you write!
Well done Alyssa!
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Russia! I'm so glad that I got Molly's character down pretty well. The paragraph you mentioned is my favorite too; I think it fits Molly's character! I think there will always be Americanisms in my writing, and I think it's best that I give up on trying to make my stories more British. I don't really care, and I always put something American in anyway. :P And I'm so happy that you say my writing is improving; it really means a lot. Thanks for the great review!
Summary: When Draco Malfoy reads an article in The Cavendish Examiner about a sighting of a Nundu for the first time in years, he has no idea where the journey will finally lead him.
I really liked this fic! I was really taken into the story. I thought Draco's own narration was very effective and it made the story so believable that the ending came as even more of a shock to the reader.
Okay, I just re-read the ending and now I understand it! Ahaha I had this whole evil!Draco in my head, and that he had created the action figure to spread the poison and had killed that Ansley Dalton, and was going on a mass killing spree. Wow, I've been watching too many 'Criminal Minds' I now realise that he just used those things to create the story Ahahaha Russia!Fail
I think the ending was awesome! (even if it took me a re-read to understand it fully) I do love a good ambiguous ending! It lends itself to my imagination (as demonstrated up there with my Evil!Draco comment...) I just needed to re-read the ending and remember that Ansley Dalton was the dude with the weird forest house and that Diana whats-her-face was the woman who had been "murdered" by the knights. But no, it was really effective and executed really well.
The interaction between Harry and Draco. Hmm. I am in two minds about this. I really liked some bits, and it makes sense to be for Harry to try to be nice and get along with Draco. But some of the things Draco said just seemed... really off to me
“No, really!” Draco insisted,
But honestly, most of Draco's characterisation was totally SPOT ON. You write a fabulous Draco
Summary: Hermione has to chose between Harry and Ron, between friendship and love.
Uhm, Alyssa... WOW!
First of all I would just like to say how MUCH you have improved as a writer. You admit on your author’s page that you don’t like your early stories very much, but they are actually not all that bad. But I must say, your writing has come on leaps and bounds from the first Fanfictions that you wrote. I know that you have had problems with tenses in the past, and when I saw that this fic was written in second person I immediately worried that there would be some tense mistakes, but you know what? There weren’t! You actually handled the use of second person really well, I am very impressed as it is not an easy thing to do, yet another sign of how much you have improved as an author.
When I looked through your author’s page I picked this one mainly because of its length. I wanted to see how much you could fit into such a short story and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I did not expect at all that you would cover so many years in such few words, and yet it didn’t seem rushed at all. You make the relationship of Harry/Hermione seem so possible, and so simple.
Your characterisation of Hermione is actually pretty good her feelings are well written and the way she blushes when she is with Harry is so cute!
“Truth be told, you would have talked to him: you were almost at Hogwarts, and he hadn’t changed yet. You couldn’t let him go unprepared.”
I loved that line, it was very Hermione. I don’t know if Hermione is a character you have written very much before, but I would very much like to see you write some more if her. I think you mention somewhere a sequel to this? I would really like to read that if you decide to go ahead.
One bit I didn’t quite understand, I think Kara mentioned it in her review as well, was when they fought? It seemed a bit disjointed from the rest of the story. Maybe if you went into a little more detail about WHY they fought, because that is the only part of the story that seems rushed a bit odd. This paragraph:
“Once at Hogwarts you became friends. You told him what you had read in the books about him. He had heard some of it before, but he sounded excited nonetheless. You liked hearing him like that. But, when you stopped talking to him, you felt lost. You didn’t get to hear him, not to mention that you didn’t have anyone to talk to at all. It was just so hard when you didn’t talk. You never wanted to fight like that again
Could just do with some more detail in it, because at the moment it sounds a bit like they just stopped talking and the fight isn't mentioned until the end of the paragraph, I just think some more detail here would make it great.
Two teensy nit-picks before I go, “He had to flaunt the fact that he had found himself a girlfriend He never had time for you or Harry anymore.” You need to put a full stop after ‘girlfriend’ and “He didn’t say anything; he just kissed you again. You were surprised by that – he had never showed any interest in you before.” ‘showed’ should be ‘shown’.
I was really impressed with this fic, Alyssa and I can’t wait to read more of your work =D
Author's Response: Thank you so much, Russia! I'm so happy that you think I'm improving as a writer. I think it's the best compliment that I've gotten. It means a lot to me. :) I wasn't sure if Hermione was done right because I've never done her before, so I'm glad I got her right. Thanks for pointing out the mistakes! I'll change them soon. Thank you for the review!
Summary: A snippet taken from a Sunday Prophet of December 2000.
The aftermath of the Battle marked some of the darkest hours for Charlie Weasley and his family. But just when he can't possibly think of how to find happiness again, a chance encounter might light the way.
This is Karaley Dargen from Gryffindor, writing for the Winter Snows ’09 prompt Stirring.
From the prompt: “Stirring (a column with a self-stirring cauldron as an icon) is the Sunday edition’s main feature. In it, readers can contribute their own inspiring anecdotes.”
Thank you, Emma (Amortentia x), for betaing this story for me :)
Also, I'm not JKR. GASP!
Well, you said you wanted a SPEW review, so here I am!
First of all, the style in which you wrote this in was really really good. It really felt like a newspaper article. The way you worded your sentences and the words you used just screamed “NEWSPAPER” at me. The thing is... I don’t like reading newspapers. >.> For me, the newspaper layout just isn’t interesting enough, I have a very short attention span, and nothing in the newspaper style jumps out at me. I think the very long paragraphs may put some readers off. I have as terrible habit of skipping to the dialogue or parts of the fic that are easy to read, so it took a lot to keep my eyes focused and in the story. As I said, it was written in the newspaper on style on purpose, and you pulled it off brilliantly. I just might suggest splitting up some of those larger paragraphs to make the story look more appealing.
To be totally honest, I have fallen slightly in love with your Charlie. He just felt so... real. You did a fantastic job with him, Kara. You should definitely write more Charlie stories! We don’t know very much about Charlie, but everything you made him into was just so plausible. You made that amazing analogy of him, comparing him to Percy and all of his other brothers. I would paste in all the bits about him that were fantastic, but unfortunately than I’d have to paste in the entire fic... :-p I never really saw Charlie as a Percy type figure, but it seems like a logical idea. You even made him convincingly slashy. I know this was your first time writing slash, and I honestly thought it was really good! There were subtle hints of romance throughout the fic, and a few of them caught in my head well enough tp be copied and pasted into my word document for future reference in this review XD.
“Oddly, I was concerned about Oliver quitting his Quidditch career”
I can’t even explain why that line stuck in my head and made me think romance. I think it was just the first sign that Charlie cared about Oliver and, at the very least, they could become friends. Then of course you had, in my opinion, the BEST line in the entire fic:
“As long as it isn’t Rita Skeeter - she’ll turn you into a troll who’s been hit by too many Bludgers, or something like that...”
Oliver winked and said, “Oh, so you think I’m a–,”
I laughed so hard at that. Argh, it was just SO good! So in character and added a lighter note to a story that had been very dark up until this point. It also backed up this line:
“I’m still sure that I owed a great deal to Oliver. I don’t really believe in lucky charms,”
Oliver seemed to walk into the room and take all the tension away with a wink and a joke. I can literally picture Oliver winking and making that joke. I think it is the cheeky wink that does it for me. I just wish we got to see Charlie’s response!
I know I came up with the pairing behind this plot, but I think it is a lovely idea. I thought this was a very very hard prompt to write to, and I thought you did it excellently. As I have said above, your style and structure fit the prompt beautifully and your characterisation is just superb. There are so many non-canon elements to this fic that seem so canon to me because they are written so well. Like Molly wanting Charlie nearer to home. Then, to go back to my comment on your analogy of him, you show him in his first job at the ministry and how miserable he was. Making Charlie miserable at a desk job seems to likely and then it makes it seems even better when he gets his new job, and meets Oliver and realises he is happy again. You seem to have thought this fic through so perfectly, every minute detail flows through to the next.
You write he conversations they have, like I could never imagine doing. You don’t use dialogue exactly, which again fits the newspaper style so perfectly. Because when you are recounting something you don’t really want to put into words exactly what was said, because normal people can’t remember every single word! But you sort of described what was said instead of actually using dialogue. I don’t know if you researched newspaper styles, or consciously made it that way, but if you didn’t hen W.O.W you have a natural talent for it :-p
Now, before I end this ridiculously long review, I just have to mention these two lines:
”And, maybe most importantly of all, I had a clean slate, and amazing people to help me fill it up.”
”He frowned at his watch, almost as though it was the small device’s fault that time had moved so quickly.”
You have such a beautiful way with words, Kara. These two sentences simply ooze ‘professional author’ . It was a wonderful first chapter, and I can't wait for more!
Summary: The war is years over now, and Harry Potter has become Head of the Auror Office at the reformed Ministry of Magic. He’s married to Ginny, love of his life, and they’re expecting a baby within the next few months. The war changed everything about Harry’s life, some things for the better. But he still remembers what happened in his place of employment before the war, before he was of age even; there was an event that neither he nor one close friend can put out of their heads for very long.
Luna Lovegood and Harry Potter cannot forget the whisperings just beyond the veil in the Department of Mysteries. So when Luna turns up out of the blue (and dressed in a memorable shade of blue) to ask for a tour—for the Quibbler of course—Harry is able to use his not-insignificant influence to pull a few strings and set in motion a spontaneous adventure that answers the questions they have always been haunted with, about death, life, memories, forgiveness, and everything in between.
Warnings: spoilers (for pretty much all the books)
Disclaimer: I bought the rights to Harry Potter, so I own this. And if you believe that…. Well, yeah. Obviously I just lied, I own none of this except for the plot.
P.S. : This story is meant to be maybe four or five chapters, possibility of an epilogue. Nothing colossal! :) 6/16/10: Just realized.... You should know that this is NOT a Harry/Luna romance. Sorry to disappoint if that's what you were looking for, and happy to help if it's not.
Excerpt from Chapter 3:
The colors of the new setting mainly consisted of greens and browns, with a translucent gold here and there. The random colors formed into leaves and bark, shafts of sunlight swung down like ropes between them. Harry and Luna found themselves in a forest, bodiless and looking down from high branches through leaves that were changing color. Again the deep voice resonated in their heads, saying with the clarity of a dark bell sound, “James”.
This is your first story? O.o wow.
There were so many things that I loved about this! I was drawn in by your summary, I’ve always Ben curious about Harry/Luna as a ship, and even though I then saw your point about this NOT being a romance fic, I still really wanted to read it.
Harry and Luna. My two least favourite characters in some ways. Their characters are so complex and the interaction between them both is SO difficult to write but actually I think you did a really awesome job! The interaction and conversation between them was believable and in character and was so witty it never got boring, it was great. I also really loved your Luna characterisation. A lot of people think they can write Luna just by putting in random references to a mythical magical beast but you didn’t do this, when you DID use a random mythical beast you used it well and it fitted in, so congrats on that!
Harry was surprisingly well written as well. I’m always wary of anybody by JKR writing harry because I feel that she is the only person who is truly able to understand his character, but actually I think you got him pretty close. Your remarks about remembering Moody, the thoughts about becoming a father and the mention of how he hoped the article would not be about his new job were just so wonderfully IC
Author's Response: Wow, long review! (My favorite kind....) I reworked the dialogue a lot, it was really hard to balance because, as you said, they're really the most complex characters--well, I think so--and I had to keep pretending to actually BE each of them before I got anything right. I was worried to death about the 'random mythical beast' :) 'cuz I have no idea about anything except for Blibbering Humdingers, the Crumple Horned Snorkack, and Nargles. So I was forced to make one up--I was going to use the Snorkack at first, but I think it's so overused; plus Luna has an affinity for all magical creatures! You really think I did okay on Harry's character? * blushes at compliment * Thank you!! I know Harry's really modest and a little quiet, and he'd say know he's not--but that's just him being more modest. :P I wasn't very certain at all if I made him mature enough while keeping his personality straight, but I thought he'd probably be unsure about his future as a father, especially with no point of reference (such as from his own father or Sirius) and I think that's one reason he'd have gone through the veil anyway, to ask for advice. I just tried my hardest, and I'm glad Harry and Luna seem like themselves. I feel all happy and pleased now, thank you for reviewing! :)
The rest of my review that got cut in half: